No. 64 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

Aircraft - Locations - Group and Duty - Books

No.64 Squadron served as a fighter squadron throughout the Second World War, taking part in the battle of Britain and carrying out offensive sweeps over France before ending the war escorting Bomber Command on daylight raids over Germany.

At the outbreak of war No.64 Squadron was equipped with the Bristol Blenheim 1F fighter, which it used to fly patrols off the East Coast. Spitfires arrived in April 1940, and two months later the squadron took them into combat over Dunkirk.

No.64 Squadron took part in the fighting over Convoy 'Bread' on 10 July 1940, recognised by the RAF as the first day of the Battle of Britain. The squadron was heavily involved in the early part of the battle, and in mid-August was moved north to Leconfield to rest.

By the time the squadron returned south, in October, the focus was about to shift from daylight to nighttime bombing, and the battle of Britain was about to become the Blitz. The squadron moved further north in May 1941, going to Scotland, where it spent the summer and autumn of 1941 protecting the Scottish coast.

In November 1941 the squadron moved back south, and from then until November 1944 (with a short break in Scotland) took part in the costly fighter sweeps over northern France that were designed to wear down the Luftwaffe. Although they didn't achieve this, they did at least make sure that is was the British who had the initiative in the air war over the Channel during this period.

In November 1944 No.64 Squadron converted to the Mustang III. At this late period in the war Bomber Command had reverted to daylight raids, and No.64 Squadron used its Mustangs in the same way as its American colleagues in the Eighth Air Force, escorting the heavy bombers to Germany.

Aircraft
December 1938-April 1940: Bristol Blenheim 1F
April 1940-February 1941: Supermarine Spitfire I
February-November 1941: Supermarine Spitfire IIA and IIB
November 1941-July 1942: Supermarine Spitfire VB
July 1942-March 1943: Supermarine Spitfire IX
March 1943-July 1944: Supermarine Spitfire VB, VC
July 1944-November 1944: Supermarine Spitfire IX
November 1944-May 1946: North American Mustang III

Location
May 1938-May 1940: Church Fenton
    December 1939-January 1940: Detachment to Evanton
    April-May 1940: Catterick
May-August 1940: Kenley
August-October 1940: Leconfield
October 1940: Biggin Hill
October-November 1940: Coltishall
November 1940-January 1941: Hornchurch
January-March 1941: Southend
March-May 1941: Hornchurch
May 1941: Martlesham Heath
May 1941: Hornchurch
May 1941: Turnhouse (Scotland)
May-August 1941: Drem
August-October 1941: Turnhouse
October-November 1941: Drem
November 1941-March 1942: Hornchurch
March-May 1942: Southend
May-July 1942: Hornchurch
July 1942: Martlesham Heath
July-September 1942: Hornchurch
September-November 1942: Fairlop
November-December 1942: Hornchurch
December 1942-January 1943: Predannack
January-March 1943: Fairlop
March 1943: Hornchurch
March-August 1943: Ayr
August 1943: Friston
August-September 1943: Gravesend
September 1943: West Malling
September 1943-January 1944: Coltishall
January-February 1944: Ayr
February-April 1944: Coltishall
April-June 1944: Deanland
June-August 1944: Harrowbeer
August-December 1944: Bradwell Bay
December 1944-August 1945: Bentwaters

Squadron Codes: GR (Blenheim), SH (All else)

Duty
Fighter Command 1939-1944
Bomber Escort 1944-1945

Books

Spitfire Mark I/II Aces 1939-41, Dr Alfred Price. Slightly different to many books in the Aircraft of the Aces series, Price splits his material, concentrating on the wider picture in the first part of the book before looking at eleven of the top Spitfire aces in the last two chapters of the book [see more]
cover cover cover
Spitfire: Flying Legend - 60th Anniversary 1936-96, John M. Dibbs. A beautifully illustrated book focusing on surviving flyable Spitfires, with some very impressive modern colour photos backed up by a good selection of archival pictures and a good selection of relevant quotes from wartime Spitfire pilots [see more]
cover cover cover

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (9 June 2009), No. 64 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/64_wwII.html

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